There’s a movement in town to start a series of butterfly gardens, plantings and projects. This will include new sites and replanting of some established gardens throughout BC. What a wonderful idea!
I just love butterflies, I mean, who doesn’t? They’re symbolic of endurance, change, hope, and life. When you see a butterfly, you have to pause, even if for a few seconds, to watch. Autumn is a wonderful time of year to garden for butterflies as we have a significant showing of local and migratory winged beauties in our neighborhoods. We also get to plan later plantings for our Spring butterfly gardens.
Some basics of butterfly gardens are host and nectar plants with a water source. When looking for your plants, consider what is most appealing or necessary for your visiting butterflies. Yellow skippers, blue wings, Queens and Painted Ladies seem to enjoy everything from Lantana to Mojave native bloomers. But the beloved Monarch requires the Milkweed (Asclepias), and that has been a challenge to get established in our area for some time. If you’re interested in growing Milkweed, the best to grow here are the erecta, tuberosa and subulata. It’s important to grow successful plants, and that means doing extra work to get the right seed. Our very own Heirloom Hollyhock is perfect for any garden, including this one. Remember, all seeds and transplants can be grown in a sunny window or protected outdoor area.
For your butterfly water source, shallow dishes work wonderfully, as some birdbaths are too deep. Adding nature’s touches like flagstone and a variety of stones are appealing to butterflies as well.
So, watch for butterflies, as just a glimpse of one provides a moment of joy. Take the opportunity to plant a garden or a few plants for our winged visitors. The more inviting plants we have, the higher chance the butterfly populations will be in our area.